Fathers share love for their sons at Father / Son Symposium

Written by: Phillip E. L. Castell, Director Communication, Public Affairs & Religious Liberty | Thursday, May 3, 2018

From start to finish, the information presented at the Father / Son Symposium was significant and those who were in attendance would have benefited from words of wisdom from experienced Christian men who want only the best, not only for their sons but for others.

Held under the theme “Transformed Earthly Fathers: preparing for the Heavenly Father” the Symposium was held at the Stadium Community SDA Church in the afternoon of April 28, 2018.  The  program was organized by Associate Family Ministries  and Men’s Ministries Director, Pastor Manley Phillips, who was assisted by members of his planning committee.

Former prisoner in the United States, Bro Dale Hylton, kept the congregation in rapt attention when he shared how his incarceration behind bars robbed him of time with his children. Hylton, who is the father of six sons, is grateful that the Lord heard his prayers while in prison but made it clear that while he was locked away, his sons   grew up without a father and he was denied the opportunity to teach them some of the basic things that fathers usually teach their sons.

 “They gave me twenty five years in a federal prison in the United States but when I was in prison, I prayed and said to God that if I did not have to spend twenty five years in full, I would come home   and serve him.”

Hylton, kept his promise as he returned to the land of his birth after spedning twelve years in prison. He is happy to be home and now attends the Yallas SDA Church. He however   lamented the fact that his children grew up without him being there.

“My sons, grew up without a father, they knew they had one, but he wasn’t around for them.  If I was there with my boys, just imagine what they would be?” said Hylton

 He warned the young boys in particular that there are a lot of

things in the world to entice you “but it all leads to one thing, “destruction.”

Family Ministries Director Elder Claudette Genas commended Pastor Phillips for planning the Father Son Symposium and said that one of the responsivities of the Men’s Ministries Department is to mentor young men in our churches. 

Youngest father at the symposium Pastor Anthony Taylor said “it is a joy being a father, and I am aware that the example that I set, what I do, what I say  and how I act is critical to his upbringing and what he will learn with regards to morals and his upbringing. ”  

 Men’s Ministries Director at the Andrews SDA Church Bro. Conrad Wright, disclosed that some of the things he taught his son is what he learnt from his father when he was a child.  Wright said it was very important that fathers pass down important life skills and lessons to their sons like the importance of discipline and work, “ for boys need to know from early that they need to work.”

 Conrad was proud to share that he loves his son dearly and that he recently turned down a lucrative job offer at his workplace because of his care and concern for his family and his twelve year old son. Wright said this was a job that he wanted for many years but when his boss offered it to him and told him it would require him to relocate to Montego Bay which would take him away from his son, he declined the offer without remorse because he knew that his   son needed him now more than ever.  

 Errol Holmes from the Andrews Memorial Church started out by saying “gentlemen, it is very important that we are careful of the Jesus that we model in our homes.”  Holmes disclosed that his father was a deacon in the Adventist Church and his mother worked in the Adventist system but “the God of my father and the God of my mother were very different.”

In a no holds barred testimony, Holmes divulged that he tried to commit suicide multiple times as a youngster due to the negative impact of his father who was ruthless in his behavior and abusive to his children and his wife.

Holmes gave tips on fathering and started by saying “ the best thing a man can do for his sons is to love their mother.”  The  father of two ended by saying sons should hold on to their father and never let him go and encouraged fathers to hold on to Jesus and never let him go  and in so doing, secure a place for him and his children in the kingdom of heaven.


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